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Trip List by t3012

Lord of the Rings Tour of NZ

5 May 2006  Lord of the Rings
3.5 of 5 stars based on 12 votes

Touring NZ on the trail of LOTR.

  • 1. Sky Tower
    Sky Tower, Auckland

    This is common in many cities in the world, but it's a great way to view the city from a great height. Watch out for the sky divers that free-fall down the tower every now and then. I believe you can try that out too although i didn't cos i dislike heights.

    Stand on the glass panel on the floor and feel like you're standing on air and could fall anytime. Interesting Picture spot. :)

  • 2. Yacht, Auckland, North Island

    You can take a ride on a yacht. A little pricey, we decided to do it to celebrate my friend's birthday. He was even given a chance to take the wheel :)

  • 3. Waitomo Glow Worm caves

    The expedition is named the Lost World, and is one experience both of us would never forget. We were made to put on slightly dirty overalls and descended down a 100m rope into entrance to the cave. It felt a little like mining as we had to wear hard hats with lights.

  • 4. Hobitton, Matamata, New Zealand

    A little tour of the site where Frodo and his hobbit friends and families live. Although stripped of the pretty flowers that emblazoned the actual scene in the movie, there are still structures of the little houses and you can take a picture of yourself in the doorway or window of one. Don't expect an exact replica though as without the flowers, it isn't that pretty.

    Excerpt from the website "The area around Matamata was transformed into the village of Hobbiton, home of the hobbits, where Frodo began his perilous journey."

    Details: A 2 hour guided tour of the Movie Set which leaves Matamata 3 times a day. The set in on private land and you will need to join a tour to get access to it. The set has been returned to its natural state but some structures are still present and your guide will escort you through the 10 acre site, recounting details on how it was created.

  • 5. Rotorua
    Rotorua, Rotorua District, Bay of Plenty Region

    There's a free park where you can see bubbling mud pools and steaming thermal pools... But what a SMELL! :) Nearby there are several motels offering thermal water in the baths.

  • 6. Mt. Tarawera
    Mt. Tarawera, Rotorua, Rotorua District, Bay of Plenty Region

    A guide brings you on a jeep up this mountain. The fun part is when you scree down the mountain... Kind of like sliding on your feet... Scary but fun :)

  • 7. Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland
    Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland, Rotorua, Rotorua District, Bay of Plenty Region

    A wider park with more mud pools and thermal springs.
    You can also choose to visit Crater of the Moon and Hidden Valley for more of the same.

  • 8. Lake Taupo
    Lake Taupo, North Island, New Zealand

    The lake is beautifully clear but cold. We ventured knee deep and ran out.
    Don't forget the Huka Jets - a joy ride if you've never had one of those. They do 360 degree spins. Be prepared to get wet just for the fun of it.

  • 9. Tongariro Crossing
    Tongariro Crossing, North Island, New Zealand

    Start in the early morning while the air is fresh... You must finish the crossing within a certain time or you'll miss the bus. Catch Mount Doom along the way as well as breathtaking views. It gets really hot though and we got "chow dar" (meaning burnt) after the hike.

    It was pretty strenuous at times but towards the end you get to wander down a nice path through the forest to the final destination.

  • 10. Kaitoke Regional Park
    Kaitoke Regional Park, North Island, New Zealand

    It was a pretty nice stroll through Fairyland - where they filmed the elven home of Rivendell. Unfortunately, the gorgeous waterfalls - part of the luscious scenery in the movie were nowhere to be found.

  • 11. Wellington
    Wellington, Greater Wellington

    From Kaitoke (Upper Hutt) to Wellington, you'll pass by River Anduin.

    In Wellington, we were fortunate to find the display of the Lord of the Rings Exhibition in Te Papa Museum. We also had a lovely fish and chips lunch somewhere along the bank with a view of the sea.

  • 12. Christchurch Botanic Gardens
    Christchurch Botanic Gardens, Christchurch, Canterbury Region

    When we went in January, it was full bloom for the roses and lovely pictures could be taken among them.

    Also, take a punt down the Avon River. It was lovely especially when another tourist serenaded us from one of the bridges across the river.

    Cathedral Square and Hagley Park are other photo spots around sleepy Christchurch.

  • 13. Puzzling World, Lake Wanaka, South Island, Zealand

    We chanced upon this place on the map. The lake is ordinary but worth a shot or two. But the Puzzling World was a nice change from the scenic shots we'd been taking.

    Enter the Sloping Room where you feel like you're slanted and yet you're upright. Or try to find your way out of the outdoor maze. No prize but a sense of achievement greets you :)

    As for Wanaka (the town), looking towards the Alps at the end of the lake you can see the backdrop used when Gandalf flew to Rohan with Gwaihir after his rescue from the Orthanc.

  • 14. Milford Sound
    Milford Sound, Te Anau, Fiordland National Park

    Take a cruise down Milford Sound. A touristy thing to do. Bring a sweater cos it gets chilly. You go almost under a waterfall and feel more than a few droplets on you.

  • 15. Cozy Kiwi Bed and Breakfast, Te Anau, South Island

    Worth mentioning, the B&B of our friends. This is a good base for a visit to the Milford Sound.

  • 16. Dunedin
    Dunedin, Otago Region

    Unplanned, we decided to venture here. It was worth it! We huddled into little trenches with openings only as wide as our faces. This was to let the penguins perceive that we were smaller than them, and hence not a threat. We could observe them in their natural habitat - feeding their young with freshly caught fish, "kissing" or whatever they do, etc.

  • 17. Queenstown
    Queenstown, Otago Region

    A Dart River expedition was good exercise as we had to paddle down Dart River in inflatable canoes (Funyaks). :) Guess who did most of the paddling? Towards the end of the trip, you get rewarded with a view of Misty Mountains.

    From Queenstown, you can also drive past cherry farms. Venture into one during cherry picking season (we went in January). You get a bucket for a fee where you can climb ladders and pick as many cherries as you can get. Delicious red cherries... Yum!

    We also visited a winery and a short tour of the vineyards although that wasn't much to shout about.

  • 18. Lake Tekapo
    Lake Tekapo, Lake Tekapo, Mackenzie District, Canterbury Region

    You can view Mount Cook in the distance.

    As it was a Sunday, we also attended service in picturesque Church of Good Shepard

  • 19. Kaikoura
    Kaikoura, Canterbury Region

    1. The Seal Colony is certainly worth a visit. You can see lazy seals napping in the sun.

    2. Whale watching is the reason to visit Kaikoura. Unfortunately, we were disappointed. Due to the weather, the day we had scheduled for the Whale Boat ride didn't materialise as the boats were cancelled. The next morning, in order to ensure we made it for our flight back to Singapore, we went for the "Wings over Whales". Although it was fun to sit in such a small jet, we were totally disappointed at seeing no whales. Really not worth the $$ spent. Next time i go, i would definitely choose the boat over the plane :)